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|Born||December 9, 1956
Brooklyn, New York, United States
|Died||February 25, 1994 (aged 37)
Hebron, West Bank
|Cause of death||Beaten to death|
|Resting place||Kiryat Arba, across from the Meir Kahane Memorial Park|
|Other names||Benjamin Goldstein |
|Alma mater||Yeshiva University(1977) highest honors, Albert Einstein College of Medicine|
|Occupation||Physician, (emergency doctor)|
|Known for||Killing 29 Arabs and injuring 125|
Baruch Kappel Goldstein (Hebrew: ברוך גולדשטיין; December 9, 1956 – February 25, 1994) was an American-born Jewish Israeli physician who perpetrated the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in the city of Hebron, killing 29 Muslims at prayer there and wounding another 150.
Goldstein was born in Brooklyn, New York to an Orthodox Jewish family. He attended the Yeshivah of Flatbush religious day school and Yeshiva University. He received his medical training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He belonged to the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a militant Jewish organization founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane.
After emigrating to Israel in 1983, he served as a physician in the Israeli Defense Force, first as a conscript, then in the reserve forces. Following the end of his active duty, Goldstein worked as a physician and lived in the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron, where he served as an emergency doctor. Israeli press reports stated that Goldstein refused to treat Arabs, even those serving in the IDF; this was also reflected in comments by his acquaintances.
Cave of the Patriarchs massacre
On February 25, 1994, that year’s Purim day, Goldstein entered a room in the Cave of the Patriarchs serving as a mosque, wearing “his army uniform with the insignia of rank, creating the image of a reserve officer on active duty” (Shamgar report). He then opened fire, killing 29 people and wounding more than 125. Mosque guard Mohammad Suleiman Abu Saleh said he thought that Goldstein was trying to kill as many people as possible and described how there were “bodies and blood everywhere.” Goldstein was attacked and killed by the worshippers. According to Ian Lustick, ‘by mowing down Arabs he believed wanted to kill Jews, Goldstein was reenacting part of the Purim story’.
Palestinian riots immediately followed the shooting, leading in the following week to the deaths of 25 Palestinians and five Israelis. According to Aditi Bhaduri, writing in The Hindu, following the massacre, Israel imposed a two-week curfew on the 120,000 Palestinian residents of the city, while the 400 Jewish settlers remained free to move around. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabintelephoned PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and described the attack as a “loathsome, criminal act of murder”. The Israeli government condemned the massacre, and responded by arresting followers of Meir Kahane, forbidding certain settlers from entering Arab towns, and demanding that those settlers turn in their army-issued rifles.
Gravesite and shrine
Goldstein is buried across from the Meir Kahane Memorial Park in Kiryat Arba, a Jewish settlement adjacent to Hebron. The park is named in memory of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Israeli far-right political party Kach, a group classified by the United States and Israeli governments as a terrorist organization. Goldstein was a long-time devotee of Kahane.
The gravesite has become a pilgrimage site for “Israeli extremists”; a plaque near the grave reads “To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and the nation of Israel.” At least 10,000 people have visited the grave since the massacre.  In 1996, members of the Labor Partycalled for the shrine-like landscaped prayer area near the grave to be removed, and Israeli security officials expressed concern that the grave would encourageextremists. In 1999, following passage of a law designed to prohibit monuments to terrorists, and an associated Supreme Court ruling, the Israeli Army bulldozed the shrine and prayer area set up near Goldstein’s grave.
Veneration of Goldstein and celebration of the massacre
At Goldstein’s funeral, Rabbi Yaacov Perrin claimed that even one million Arabs are “not worth a Jewish fingernail.” Professor Samuel Hacohen declared Goldstein the “greatest Jew alive, not in one way but in every way” and said that he was “the only one who could do it, the only one who was 100 percent perfect.” In contrast, mainstream Jewish religious leaders “rejected the suggestion that killing Palestinians with an automatic rifle” was authorized by the Torah.
In the weeks following the massacre, hundreds of Israelis traveled to Goldstein’s grave to celebrate Goldstein’s actions. Some Hasidim danced and sang around his grave. Although the government has said that those who celebrated the massacre represented only a tiny minority of Israelis, a New York Times report states that Israeli government claims may understate the phenomenon.According to one visitor to the gravesite in the wake of the attacks, “If [Goldstein] stopped these so-called peace talks, then he is truly holy because this is not real peace.” Some visitors kissed and hugged the gravestone, or even kissed the earth under which Goldstein was buried, declaring him a “saint” and “hero of Israel.”
The phenomenon of the adoration of Goldstein’s tomb persisted for years, despite Israeli government efforts to crack down on those making pilgrimage to Goldstein’s grave site. The grave’s epitaph said that Goldstein “gave his life for the people of Israel, its Torah and land”. In 1999, after the passing of Israeli legislation outlawing monuments to “terrorists,” the Israeli army dismantled the shrine that had been built to Goldstein at the site of his interment. In the years after the dismantling of the shrine, radical Jewish settlers continued to celebrate the anniversary of the massacre in the West Bank, sometimes even dressing up themselves or their children to look like Goldstein.
- ^ a b c d Lacayo, Richard; Lisa Beyer, Massimo Calabresi, and Eric Silver (March 07, 1994). “The Making of a Murderous Fanatic”. Time. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
- ^ Precker, Michael. “Brooklyn’s image as extremist hotbed disputed by some Borough defenders say ties to Israel cherished, but radical groups aren’t”, The Dallas Morning News, March 20, 1994. Accessed August 6, 2007. “‘This is not what we are teaching,’ said Rabbi David Eliach, principal at the Yeshiva of Flatbush, where Dr. Goldstein attended high school.”
- ^ BBC NEWS “Goldstein had been a member of the Jewish Defense League.”
- ^ BBC NEWS “Goldstein had lived in Israel for 11 years and was a doctor in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, just outside Hebron.” “As the settlement’s main emergency doctor he was involved in treating victims of Arab-Israeli violence.”
- ^ Mass-mediated Terrorism Brigitte Lebens Nacos, Rowman & Littlefield, 2002
- ^ Settlers remember gunman Goldstein; Hebron riots continue. Issacharoff, Avi. Haaretz. March 01, 2010.
- ^ Shamgar report 
- ^ Ian Lustick, For The Land and The Lord, Council on Foreign Relations (1988) 2nd ed., 1994, Preface
- ^ Middle East Journal, Chronology, vol 48, no 3 (Summer 1994) p. 511 ff.
- ^ Aditi, Bhaduri (May 21, 2006). “Fabled town, divided and bruised”. The Hindu. Retrieved Ocyober 19, 2009. “Still fresh in the memory of almost all the inhabitants was the Goldstein case of 1994, when a two-week curfew was imposed on the 1,20,000 [sic] Palestinian residents of the city, while the 400 Jewish settlers of H2 were free to move around.”
- ^ On This Day 1994: Jewish settler kills 30 at holy site, February 25, 2005, BBC News.
- ^ Haberman, Clyde (March 3, 1994). “West Bank Massacre; Israel Eases Curfew in Territories; Ensuing Riots Deepen Pessimism”. The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved October 19, 2009. “But he [Rabin] has imposed tougher measures against a relatively small number of the most militant settlers, which, while far from what the Palestinians want, represents a significant shift for the Government. Several days after ordering the arrest of five people faithful to the anti-Arab preaching of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, the army began today to carry out other measures, telling 18 settlers to stay out of Arab towns and to turn in their army-issued rifles.”
- ^ a b c “Graveside party celebrates Hebron massacre”. BBC News. March 21, 2000. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
- ^ “Goldstein’s grave draws extremists”, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 22, 1996.
- ^ “Israel removes shrine to mosque murderer”, CNN, 29 December 1999.
- ^ a b Kraft, Scott (02-28-1994). “Extremists Pay Tribute to Killer of 48 at Funeral”. Los Angeles Times: p. A1.
- ^ a b Brownfeld, Allan C. (March 1999). “Growing Intolerance Threatens the Humane Jewish Tradition”. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: 84-89. Retrieved 03-23-2010.
- ^ a b Emran Qureshi, Michael Anthony Sells (2003). The new crusades: constructing the Muslim enemy. Columbia University Press. p. 129. ISBN 0231126670.
- ^ a b c d Haberman, Clyde.“Hundreds Of Jews Gather To Honor Hebron killer”, April 1, 1994, New York Times.
- ^ a b GreenBerg, Joel. “Israel destroys shrine to mosque gunman”, December 30, 1999, New York Times.
- ^ Bouckaert, Peter. Center of the Storm: a case study of human rights abuses in Hebron District, 2001, page 82.